The WSG Gallery on Main Street is holding its “WSG 2015 Annual Holiday Show” from December 1 through January 2. This annual sale is a great opportunity for art lovers to find a perfect holiday gift. The gallery is transformed into a gift market and includes sixteen artist partners, eleven current visiting artists, and seventeen invited artists. The festive result is a Santa’s sleigh of original art: paintings, jewelry, metal, photography, handmade books and cards, glass, ceramics and fiber art.
On December 4 at 7pm is the annual WSG gala holiday party. It’s a great time to meet the artists and raise a glass of cheer and it coincides with Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness festivities. The stores stay open late and street performers entertain all comers. This year’s entertainment includes young Elvis impersonator, Chris Solano; Element 1, The University of Michigan’s only breakdancing club; vocal jazz octet, Midnight Blue, who sing pop, hip-hop, sha-doo-wop, tragic ballads and genuinely funny parody numbers. Last, but not least is Ann Arbor Morris. Ann Arbor Morris is not a street guy like the late Ann Arbor fixture, Shakin’ Jake. Morris’s dancing is a form of ritual folk dancing dating from Elizabethan England and it’s nothing but fun.
As always, the roster of visiting artists is outstanding and draws from throughout Southeast Michigan. It includes Detroit-based glass artist, Janet Kelman. Kelman has been working for more than four decades in blown, lamp-worked, and fused glass. She began by making paperweights, plates and bowls, perfume bottles, jewelry and mosaics.
Today she sandblasts on glass to create doors, windows, screens, and mirrors for residential and commercial architectural locations. Her love of scuba diving led to my favorite of her genres, animones, which capture the color and iridescence of underwater flora and fauna. One thing she brings to all her work: beauty. Other visiting artists include Kristin Hermanson, Maria Ruggiero, Marlee Hoffman, Martha Ceccio, Martha Keller, Nora Venturelli, Peter Gooch, Ruth Crowe, Elaine Headly and Idelle Hammond-Sass.
And as always, the invited include superb local artists, many of whom show at other galleries in town or in private studios, and they have come together for this special holiday show. Take couturière Rebecca Lambers, Ann Arbor’s leading maker of one-of-a-kind, hand-made-to-order women’s clothing. Her work was showcased at the Detroit Institute of Arts in conjunction with the major exhibition on the fashion photographer, Richard Avedon. Lambers is an avid gardener and realized a few years ago she could use her love of nature as inspiration. The idea blossomed into exquisite silk flowers, each handmade and of the finest materials in alluring colors. They are sometimes outsized or arranged in large installments, often hanging. They look like they’re floating.
Or take Carol Furtado, fiber artist extraordinaire and long-time creator of wearable art. Rich, pure color is her signature. She was a painter and earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. But she found that she could get even better color and texture by weaving. She has a large and loyal following for her hand-woven hats, berets, scarves, jackets and shawls, as well as her beaded and embroidered pins. All of her pieces are feminine, distinctive, and lovely. There has to be a Christmas gift or two in there! Other invited artists include Sarah Bearup-Neal, Jane Brown, Alvey Jones, Anne Harlow, Chris Reising, Michelina Risbeck, Jaime Salm, Andrew Sell, Marian Short, Mike Sivak, Keith Maquire, Mike Moridian, Collin O’Brien, Marcia Pollenberg and Jimmy Wigglesworth.
WSG Gallery, 306 S. Main St.
734-761-2287 | wsg-art.com